Sharing our Christian faith is important. Others worked in the harvest so we were able to reap the benefits of the sacraments and spiritual guidance of the Catholic Church. Likewise, we willingly try to bring this precious gift to the next generation, our faith community, and to others. One of the ways we reach out to others, including non-Catholics, is through RCIA.
WHAT IS IT?
RCIA stands for Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.
RCIA is the process by which non-Catholic adults (technically anyone over the age of seven) are received into the Catholic Church. RCIA is available in two ways. The first is geared for those people who have not received any Christian baptism of any kind. The second is for those who have been baptized in a Christian denomination using the proper formula (in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit).
WHY IS BAPTISM A DISTINCTION?
A valid baptism can only occur once in a lifetime. Once original sin is removed and a person is claimed for Christ (even as an infant), it is an action that can not be repeated. So, those who have already been validly baptized in another Christian tradition have already received the sacrament and need only profess their acceptance of the Catholic faith as the Church established by Christ.
HOW LONG IS THE PROCESS?
There are a few acceptable variations to the process. Here, at Our Lady of the Fatima Parish, we use a nine-month model. It begins in September and goes through May, meeting weekly (except for a few holidays). There are four phases; the last three are each marked by a Liturgical Rite. Then, Baptism (or profession) occurs at the Easter Vigil Mass during Holy Week.
HOW DO WE GET STARTED?
The RCIA process is basically a guide to conversion of heart led by the Holy Spirit. A team of instructors help lead the Catechumen through the process explaining the Church from its Jewish roots through the life of Jesus, to His Sacraments and the modern Church, and how the Church administers the Seven Sacraments.
If you, or if someone you know might be interested in exploring the RCIA program, please contact the parish office.